There's meaning to this choice. It's not just because it's the book I finished reading last night (though it is). I deliberately chose to start this blog today so that this could be the first book I talked about. What's the book? 'Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels' by the amazing Sarah Wendell of SmartBitchesTrashyBooks.com. It doesn't publish until October, and I'll try to remember to remind you when it's coming out, but maybe you should go write it down somewhere. Go on. I'll wait.
You're back? Good.
Here's the thing: I read almost everything, but I am especially fond of genre fiction. When I tell people that I read Science Fiction or Fantasy or Mystery or even YA, I don't get nearly the sidelong glances that I experience when I proudly out myself as a Romance reader. And that sucks. Because you know what? There is some amazing writing to be found between the covers of romance novels. And also? Life Lessons. But, not the kind that convince you that you need therapy. The Life Lessons to be found in Romance novels are more along the lines of "If you can surivive your entire family being killed in a freak carriage accident when you were eight, you can probably survive anything." Or, "Even though your sister is the Most Beautiful Girl in the World and you believe yourself to be plain and bookish, there is someone out there who thinks that, though your sister may be pretty in a societally conventional way, you are actually the Most Beautiful Girl in the World." And, really? These are pretty awesome lessons. Thankfully, SmartBitch Sarah has put all of those lovely Life Lessons into handy book form, with accompanying graphs and quotes and a quiz(!) and checklists and other bits of wonder. It's a small book, and not very long, but if you read it through and still come away in any doubt as to how amazing both Romance Novels and the people of the Romance Community truly are, then I do believe your heart and soul and possibly brain may be made of stone. And, if that is the case, then you are in most desperate need of reading one of the books Sarah uses as examples throughout the book. She even provides a handy-dandy list of them at the back. You could probably even cut it out and put it in your pocket, but, if you did, the Book Gods might smite you, so I'd just copy it and put that in your pocket.
And, the reason I really wanted this to be the first book I talked about? Because my love of Romance fiction was fairly closeted before I discovered the Bitches. Sarah made me proud to claim my love of love and the ladies who comment on her blog have helped me to clarify and put into words what it is that I love about this much-maligned genre. Therefore the dubious honor of this first official post had to go to Sarah.
Tune in tomorrow for more incoherent rambling about what I'm reading.